How to … start your research

man sat at a pc with open books

Every month Customer Services staff put on a pop up “How to …” event visiting each of our four libraries and provide students with information and support about various different topics. Past How to events have covered getting started in the library, where to find study spaces and using our libraries over the vacation.

This month’s theme is “How to … start your research” and library staff will be on hand to show you how to search the library’s resources, book a tutorial with a librarian, and find out how Centre for Academic Success and Personal Development Department (PDD) (City South) can help you too.

Research from the University of Huddersfield has found there is a statistically significant correlation between library usage and final degree result.

Learning how to use the library and search can potentially help you gain better marks, and save time too so pop along to one of our sessions below:

Day Location Time
Monday

25 February

Curzon Library 12pm to 2pm
Tuesday

26 February

Margaret Street Library 12pm to 1pm
Wednesday

27 February

City South Library 11am to 1pm
Thursday

28 February

Vittoria Street Library 12pm to 1pm

 

^Published on behalf of Janet Fox and Huizhe Jin, Customer Servcies Librarians

Downtime for full-text links

ExLibris, providers of our link resolver software which allows you to link to and download full-text content, will be performing some scheduled maintenance. Unfortunately while the scheduled maintenance takes place full-text links for many of our eResources will be unavailable.

When will this happen?

From Saturday 9th February at 1:00am for up to 24 hours until Sunday 10th February 2019 at 1:00am.

What services will be unavailable?

The A-Z of eJournals will be unavailable along with full-text links for many of our eResources, including eJournals and eJournal articles, from:

  • Subject LibGuides
  • Library catalogue
  • Library website search
  • Summon
  • Google scholar
  • Databases

Where can I search for information?

During the scheduled maintenance you can search our Library catalogue for books and eBooks and use our Subject Guides to directly access databases and websites on your chosen subject.

For example, using the Business: Strategy, HR and Marketing subject guide as illustrated below, use the Finding Information tab to click on the link for Online Resources and Websites:

Subject Guide

Online resources and websites include lists of databases and websites where you can search for information. By accessing databases such as ABI/INFORM Global and ABI Trade & Industry or Mintel directly you may still be able to access the full-text content they contain.

Subject Guide 2

For a full list of databases visit our A-Z Databases list.

If you continue to experience problems with links to full-text content after the scheduled maintenance please drop us an email at elibrary@bcu.ac.uk.

Your library never sleeps! Improvements at Curzon.

Here at Curzon Library we’ve spent the summer looking at ways we can improve the student experience.

The biggest single improvement we’ve made to the library itself is to install a brand new printing system. Extensively trialled, the HP Multi Functional Devices that can be found throughout the library are quicker, easier to use and even better at processing a high volume of jobs than the system they replaced.

We’ve also made changes to the layout of the library. Cash loaders, for adding credit to printing accounts, are now available next to the printers on the ground floor and near the atrium on the first. In addition, we’ve responded to feedback from students and replaced the café area on the ground floor with yet more study spaces suitable for both individual and group learning. And don’t forget, all of this is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Lastly, we’ve been working hard on improving the user-friendliness of the library website. It is now possible to search the Summon database of electronic resources (ebooks, journal articles etc) at the same time as looking for books that we hold in the library: simply choose the ‘everything’ tab on the library’s homepage. This is just one of the improvements we’ve made to the website – to find out more, please ask at the Helpdesk, or take yourself on a virtual tour!

Screenshot 1

The changes we have made to the library complement perfectly the first class facilities of the recently opened Curzon B. These include study spaces designed to fit the individual learning needs of all of our students, an increased number of PCs and printers and areas for relaxation as well as study. Not forgetting a well-earned coffee and slice of cake at Starbucks of course!

LearningPods2

The result is a City Centre campus that has one of the best student-Study Space ratios of any university in Birmingham and enhances BCU’s reputation as one of the most student-friendly institutions in the UK. Why not come and give it a try?

National Libraries Week – Your Virtual Library

With so much available electronically, the virtual space occupied by library resources is huge! Today’s blog is going to focus on the gateway to these resources: our new library website.

We launched this new site in September 2018, and it is a hub for you to find all of your library resources, your library account, and information about borrowing and visiting the library. We also highlight services for disabled users, researchers, and those studying away from campus.

Screenshot 1

Searching for books, journals and other resources

We’ve tried to make it easier for you to find resources.

The basic search on the homepage does what it says on the tin! Enter your search term and select an option.

If you’re confident with searching, or want some more advanced options, the ‘more ways to search’ section underneath gives you access to our A-Z lists of Databases, eJournals and the Digital Library, as well as a direct link to Advanced Search via Summon.

Use the ‘Find Resources’ menu to find out more about these resources, as well as some of the specialist ones, such as printed music.

Screenshot 3

Managing your account

On the home page you’ll find quick links to your library account and paying charges.

Under ‘services and support’ you’ll find information about borrowing, including how to reset your PIN.

Supporting you using the library

On the home page you’ll find a link to our referencing guides, including the full Harvard guide which you can use online or download. We’ve also supplied one for screen readers.

There’s also links where you can book a tutorial with a subject specialist librarian, as well as a link to book a study room in Curzon Library.

Screenshot 2

We hope you enjoy the new site!

^Laura

Celebrating National Libraries Week 2018: Can a book exchange improve mental health?

 

The theme for Libraries Week, 8–13 October is wellbeing, providing libraries with a chance to celebrate how they are supporting their community.

At the Mary Seacole Library, City South Campus, there is a great initiative running, a Book Exchange. Resources and a space for reading for pleasure have been provided. A chat with the Library Advisor working on this project outlined how the Exchange is set-up, how it can support students and staff to take time out of their busy lives, to relax, and in so doing improve their mental health through the simple act of reading.

What is the Book Exchange?

“It is a collection of fiction and non-fiction books that have been donated by staff and students who no longer want them but really want to share the pleasure of reading with others. Library colleagues set it up and I now have the pleasure of taking it on.”

Where is the Book Exchange?

“You can find it on the right hand side, immediately on entering through the Mary Seacole Library security gates. It has recently been relocated to this position to ensure more people see it, and get to enjoy the collection. Over the summer the books have been reorganised by genre and the collection was expanded.”

How can reading help with people’s mental wellbeing?

“It has been shown that reading can provide relaxation, motivation to learn, knowledge of other cultures, improvements in self-esteem, reduce symptoms of depression, increase empathy, improve communication and also help with creativity and imagination.”

The types of books in the Book Exchange?

“All sorts. Romantic fiction, historical fiction, crime, mystery, thriller, assorted popular fiction…lots.”

If I want to borrow a book from the Exchange what do I need to do?

“Just take a book off the Book Exchange shelves if you fancy it. You don’t need your borrower card. Just take it away. When you finish with it simply hand it in at the Library Helpdesk or place it on the Book Exchange shelves and staff will sort them.”

Can anyone donate books they’ve finished with?

“Absolutely. All books are welcomed. Just bring them to the Help Desk in the library or pop them on the Book Exchange shelves.”

What are your hopes this year for the Book Exchange?

“For students I really hope taking time away from studying, (where possible), to read a book on a completely different subject, will help to benefit their mental health and wellbeing in general. A lovely bit of down time.”

BookEx1Sept18

So, if you want to relax, get back in to reading, or maybe be adventurous and try a new genre, then come on down to City South. Grab a free book today and take yourself off to a different world for a little while…. Happy reading! Happy improved wellbeing!

Check out the Reading Agency too for more information about reading well for mental health.

^Posted on behalf of Fid Bleasdale, Library Advisor